Syria’s Democracy Activist on Moving Toward Peaceful Revolutions

By Anna Skibinsky, Epoch Times Staff

WASHINGTON—Ammar Abdulhamid’s views on modernizing Syria sound more like revolutionary solutions for most of the Arab world. Not surprisingly then, the activist, democracy spokesperson, and scholar hasn’t been allowed in his home country of Syria since 2005. Continue reading

Change is in the Air!

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

If the region spirals into warfare again, there will be enough blame to go around of course. But someone in the region should bear in mind that, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region did have 15 years to reinvent itself in accordance with the new realities all around it, but failed to do so. Stability and constancy are not values always to be cherished, and change no matter how onerous a task it might pose is not an existential threat. It becomes so when people try to avoid it at all costs, just as the peoples and government of the region did. But change is coming nonetheless, and violence will play a role in it, regardless of our best intentions. We are better off planning to manage it rather than resist in that nihilistic fashion to which many of our leaders seem accustomed.

Of Freedom and Stability

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

We should give as much thought to the issue of quality with regard to the peace and stability that many of us are advocating and holding on to, as we do to the consequences of change and instability. After all, the search for freedom, progress prosperity and justice is no longer reconcilable, if it has ever been, with the status quo in our part of the world, and does indeed pose a serious challenge to it. Our search to improve the quality of lives requires and necessitates radical change. Continue reading

The all too real need

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

Nationalism, Baathism, Islamism, whateverism, etc, indeed, the various isms that have swept across the region in the late 90th and early 20th Centuries onward have been nothing but a betrayal of its amazing ethnic diversity and all the intermixing that has been taking place for centuries. What we need is something new, a new idea of who we are, a new conception, no matter how vague, that can allow us to celebrate our differences and turn them into a source of strength rather than trouble and internecine warfare and mayhem. WE need to knit ourselves again into new fabric that can be reinserted back into the civilized world, for all our sakes.

A few thoughts on modernity

First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations. 

Many if not most of the main problems facing us in the region and hindering the process of change and modernization therein are psychological in nature. One such problem is the inability of our people to reconcile themselves with the necessity of making that crossover from the traditional to the modern. Instead, most seem to believe that they can keep one leg in each world thus maximizing their benefit, that is, they think that they can avail themselves of all those advantages that modernity has to offer while holding on as hard as they can to traditional values.  Continue reading